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November 21, 1997 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-21

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12 - The Michig aily - Rose Bowl! - Saturft/Sunday,

Nov. 22-23, 199

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top

Game No. 9: Penn State
BeaveJ~tadium
Coverage Jr;7,e Michigan Daily
Moa44o&. '10, 1997
Michigan

Yost teams laid groundwork for Blue I

uyy: 1

Quotable
"They
completely
dominated us
all game.
They flat-out
took it to us."
Penn State
quarterback
Mike McQuery
Michigan's Charles
Woodson is mobbed by
his teammates after
scoring the Wolverines'
second touchdown in
Michigan's 34,8 victory
over Penn State.

takes over.
No. 1 spot
in AP poll
By John Leroi
Daily Sports Editor
STATE COLLEGE - The implications
of Michigan's domination of previously
unbeaten Penn State reach far beyond the
Big Ten standings. The Wolverines jumped
three spots in the Associated Press top 25
poll and own the poll's No. I ranking for the
first time since October 1990.
Michigan was ranked second in the USA
Today/ESPN coaches poll, surpassed only
by Florida State, who trounced then-No. 5
North Carolina, 20-3, in Chapel Hill. N.C..
Saturday night.
Undefeated Nebraska dropped from the
top spot in both polls after needing overtime
to edge unranked Missouri. 45-38. The
Cornhuskers slipped to No. 3 and Penn
State to No. 6 in both polls.
"Right now, Michigan has the best
defense in the country and one of the hottest
offenses" said Jim Cnockaert of the Ann
Arbor News. who voted lichigan No. 1 in
this week's AP poll.
"Lloyd Carr said all season that as soon
as they cut down on their mistakes. their
offense would be great," Cnockaert said.
"Nobody's stopped Michigan except them-
selves, but that performance Saturday was
amazing."
It is not unusual for a team to lose its No.
1 ranking after a poor performance, even
after winning. The Nittany Lions dropped to
No. 2 in both polls after a sub-par effort
against Minnesota. The next week, Penn
State slipped to No. 3 in the coaches poll
after squeaking by Northwestern.
With Florida State occupying the No. 2
spot in that poll last week, it's no surprise
that the Seminoles are the coaches' top
choice this week. Penn State coach Joe
Paterno said he would vote for Michigan
after suffering the worst home loss of his
career, but coaches in the South who didn't
get a chance to watch the game on TV may
not agree.
"The coaches tend to go with the teams
that have already been there," Cnockaert
said. "Generally, the writers are more open
minded about giving (a first-place vote) to
somebody new who deserves it."
The Seminoles garnered 26 of the coach-
es poll's 62 first-place votes. Michigan
received 20 first-place votes and sits just 12
points behind Florida State.
The Wolverines ran away with the AP
poll, taking 44 of the 70 first-place votes.
Florida State had 23 and Nebraska kept just
three votes. Michigan leads the Seminoles
by 30 points in the AP poll.
The last time the Wolverines were the
top-ranked team in the country, they lost
their next two games and ended the season
with a No. 7 ranking after beating
Mississippi in the 1991 Gator Bowl.

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Editor
Perfection has a lengthy and storied history at
Michigan even though national championships have
avoided the program for nearly 50 years. Remember,
Michigan is the winningest team in Division I histo-
ry with 775 victories over the 118 years of the pro-
gram's existence, and this year's undefeated season is
the school's 17th.
Sort of makes the song "The Victors" even more
appropriate for this school.
Not only have past Michigan teams swept through
the regular season unfettered, but some have done so
in manners that were uniquely dominant.
Michigan built one of college football's, and for
that matter, all of sports' first true dynasties at the
turn of the century. Led by first-year coach Fielding
Yost, the 1901 Wolverines may very well still be the
greatest team ever, although it is difficult to compare
football from that era to the way it is played today.
Still, Yost's Wolverines that year not only went 11-
0, but did not allow a single point to any opponent,
while piling up 550 for themselves. The campaign
was capped by Michigan making a joke out of its
opponent, Stanford, in the inaugural Rose Bowl,
handing the Cardinal a 49-0 walloping.
The dynasty grew in magnitude over the next four
seasons. 1902 saw Michigan duplicate its record
from the previous season, while scoring even more
- 644 points, including two games where the
Wolverines surpassed the century mark. Although
Michigan did allow single touchdowns to Case and
Minnesota, the Wolverines easily won their second
consecutive national championship.
The 31-game winning streak came to an end on
Halloween of the following season in a game that

began another monster tradition in college football.
Yost's team had won its first seven games - all by
way of shutout - before traveling to Minnesota,
where the Gophers gave Michigan its toughest chal-
lenge thus far that century. With two minutes left in
the game, Michigan led only 6-0. Moments later, the
Gophers scored, sending the Minnesota crowd into a
frenzy as it stormed the field.
The game was called a tie at that moment, as
Michigan was forced from the field by the barrage of
fans. In his haste to leave town, Yost left his team's
water jug on the sidelines. When he wrote Minnesota
athletic director L.J. Cooke to ask for the jug back,
Cooke said that he would have to come back and beat
the Gophers for it. This dispute created what is now
known at The Little Brown Jug.
But Michigan was unaffected by that tie, and started
a new winning streak; this one lasted 26 games, giving
the Wolverines their fourth consecutive national title by
the end of 1904. The streak was ended in the final game
of 1905, when Michigan lost to Chicago, 2-0, despite
shutting out all 12 of its previous opponents that season.
Undefeated seasons under Yost's leadership fol-
lowed in 1910, 1918 (without a tie), 1922 and 1923.
But only the 1918 team was crowned national champs.
Perhaps the one statistic most indicative of Yost's
teams domination on both sides of the ball is this one:
in Yost's 25-year coaching career at Michigan (204
games), his teams allowed just 800 points. The 1902
team, alone, scored 644 during its 11-game slate.
Harry Kipke took over in 1929, two years after
Yost stepped down, and led Michigan to its next
batch of undefeated seasons in 1930, 1932 (no ties)
and 1933, with national titles coming in the final two
years, running Michigan's all-time total to eight.
Included in this run was the career of an all-America

center named Gerald Ford, who had a pretty good
career off the gridiron as well.
Next came the teams of 1947 and 1948, Michigan's
last two national champions, coached by Fritz Crisler
and Bennie Oosterbaan, respectively. Both units pos-
sessed suffocating defenses, although not at the level
of Yost's dynasty, but still very impressive for its era.
The 20 years after that last national title, Michigan hit
a valley in the success of its football program, winning
more than six games only four times during that span.
With the formation of the modern Big Ten in 1953,
when Michigan State joined, the conference became
increasingly competitive and perfect seasons
became, at best, a rarity. Only the Ohio State teams
of 1954 and 1968 and Penn State's 1994 squad had
gone wire to wire without a blemish on their records.
Then came Bo.
Bo Schembechler, who, along with Yost, are the two
most influential figures in the history of Michigan
football, revived the program. But his teams appeared
in 10 Rose Bowls during his 21-year tenure and gar-
nered at least a share of the Big Ten title 13 times.
As for undefeated seasons, Schembechler had but one
- 1973's 10-0-1 squad. That tie came in the Ohio State
game and cost the Wolverines a trip to the Rose Bowl
and a national championship because the Buckeyes went
by way of a vote of Big Ten athletic directors, who chose
the Buckeyes because Michigan quarterback Dennis
Franklin was injured. Schembechler's 1971 team ran the
table in the regular season, only to fall to Stanford in the
Rose Bowl, 13-12, in the game's final minute.
Now it is Lloyd Carr's team that has broken the 26-
year span of Michigan going without a perfect regular
season. Carr's team that has ended the five-year Rose
Bowl drought. Carr's team that went undefeated the
traditional Michigan way - a stifling defense.

SARA STILLMAN/Daily

Blue annhilates Penn State on drive to Roses

By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Editor
STATE COLLEGE - Chants-of"It's great to be a
Michigan Wolverine!" bellowed from the winners'
-lockerroom after Saturday's game, as silence and dis-
appointment seeped from the Penn State side.
The game between undefeated Michigan and Penn
State for control of the
SMichigan 34 Big Ten was anticipated to
be the best matchup in the
A Penn State 8 country, but sometimes
expectations fall short of
reality.
Behind a dominant offensive line and stellar defen-
sive performance, No. 4 Michigan rolled to a convinc-
ing 34-8 victory over No. 2 Penn State in front of a
record crowd of 97,498 at Beaver Stadium.
The victory, Michigan's first over Penn State in the
past three tries, made the Wolverines the lone unde-
feated team in the Big Ten, gave them the lead in the
Rose Bowl race and sent them to No. 1 in the
Associated Press poll for the first time since 1990.
"Honestly, it wasn't easy. It was a matter of prepara-
tion," Michigan safety Marcus Ray said. "You watch
our offensive line, the guys up front - they dominat-
ed. If our offense continues to play like that, we'll be
very, very successful:"
Michigan dominated the Nittany Lions from the

opening drive to the end of the game, due in large part
to a renewed offense. The Wolverines, cut down on the
turnovers and penalties that have ailed them through-
out the season to turn in their best offensive perfor-
mance to date.
"It was the best performance we had at Michigan in
a long time," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
Michigan quarterback Brian Griese, who paced the
Wolverines with short pass patterns, passed for 151
yards and two touchdowns while running backs Chris
Howard and Anthony Thomas and fullback Chris
Floyd combined to add finesse and power to the rush-
ing attack. In total, the three backs accounted for 195
of the Wolverines 265 rushing yards and added two
touchdowns.
But the story of the day was again Michigan's
defense, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the
nation. Saturday, with the exception of a touchdown
drive in the fourth quarter, Michigan's defense entirely
shut down Penn State's usually potent offense.
Penn State came in averaging 240.7 yards rushing
and 223.9 yards passing. The Lions were eighth
nationally in total offense (464.6 yards per game) and
ninth in scoring offense (37.3 points). At the head of
Penn State's success was its star tailback, Curtis Enis,
who entered the game averaging 118.6 yards rushing.
The Wolverines held the Lions to 101 yards on the
ground and 68 yards passing. Enis carried the bulk of

the load to gain 103 yards rushing; the rest of the team
had -2 yards on the ground. Enis had just 35 yards at
halftime as Michigan raced to a 24-0 lead, the Lions'
biggest halftime deficit at home ever under Penn State
coach Joe Paterno.
The defense rattled Penn State quarterback Mike
McQueary all day, sacking him twice in the first four
plays of Penn State's first drive. He was sacked a total
of five times, accounting for 20 lost yards. All in all,
the Lions did not convert any of their 12 third-down
opportunities.
"They completely dominated us all game. They flat
out took it to us," McQueary said.
The Lions only managed to break out of their end of
the field twice, and the touchdown in the fourth quar-
ter accounted for their only points. That touchdown
broke Michigan's streak of not allowing a touchdown
in the second half this season.
"Obviously, in the fourth quarter, they scored on us,"
Ray said. "We didn't like that. We really, really did not
like that.
Thomas and Howard rushed for touchdowns for the
Wolverines while Griese completed his stellar day with
scoring passes to Charles Woodson and tight end
Jerame Tuman.
"The plays they beat us with are the ones they've
been making all year," Paterno said. "They're very
good, and few people can do it consistently."

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